Councils and Labour add to calls to scrap Section 21 eviction powers

30 July 2020 | Renting

Councils and Labour add to calls to scrap Section 21 eviction powers

The Local Government Association, which represents almost all councils in England, is calling on the government to scrap section 21.

The call comes in the LGA’s response to the latest Shelter campaign urging the government to delay the proposed end of the eviction ban.

Shelter claims one in six private renting parents – equivalent to 458,000 adults – are increasingly concerned their family will become homeless.

LGA spokesman David Renard says: “Councils have serious concerns about the risk of homelessness many private renters face as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

“We are clear that building 100,000 social homes a year must form a central part of the national recovery. To give further protection to private tenants, the government should also bring forward its pledge to end ‘no fault evictions’ and commit to maintaining local housing allowance rates at the lowest third of market rents, so that tenants have greater security and households can meet their housing costs.”

This is just the latest in a series of calls on the government to scrap S21 which the Tories pledged to abolish in their manifesto for the December General Election.

Another Labour MP has taken up the same call, linking S21 to the eviction ban, and claiming in a social media video that “thousands” of people across her London constituency risk losing their homes because of the ending of the eviction ban in four weeks time.

Fleur Anderson, who won the Putney constituency in the December poll, says in the video: “I am really worried about the thousands of people across my constituency, and much wider, who face real worry about losing their home” as a result of the eviction ban ending on August 24.

Anderson has written to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to urge him to scrap S21 eviction powers, to raise local housing allowances, and to give courts discretion in rent arrears cases so they can take Coronavirus-related issues into consideration “so they are able to stop those evictions.”

She also wants Jenrick to fund what she calls “crisis navigators” in local law centres “so we can have advisers who can stop people even getting to the stage of eviction.”

The demands from Anderson – who is a backbench MP – echo those of Labour’s shadow housing minister, Thangam Debbonaire, who has made similar requests.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.